children poisoned by mercury in the Philippines


Jimrin and Jonathan playing at their house in Loring, Philippines



The case of Jimrin

Conchita is a woman miner (stone washer) who provided us a roof to sleep in the gold mining community of Loring, at Mindanao, Phillipines. That is how I met her son Jimrin and her grandson Jonathan, both deeply affected by mercury. Unfortunately, within time Jimrin’s condition has gotten worse, and each year he becomes smaller and weaker.

Jimrin’s case is by far one of the most severe cases I have seen closely. He is physically disabled to move and has no strength at all as the illness has affected all his joints and muscles. He lays all day and sleeps on a wooden platform, watching a Tv that he has gotten as a gift from one of our colleagues.  Jimrin is 11 years old and stopped walking at the age of 4. 
He endures back and joint pain and unbearable headaches  every day.

The case of Jonathan

Jonathan, was born as a special child, from Conchita’s daughter, Esther. Esther used to work at a small processing plant of gold (ball mills)with mercury, while being pregnant of Jonathan.

Jonathan is 9 years old, and has not developed as a normal kid, besides having intellectual disability, he endures strong headaches and migraines, and his family fears he might be going in the same direction as Jimrin.

Unfortunately, mine workers (male and female) in Loring, are unaware of the damages that the exposure of mercury causes. Women are more exposed to mercury as they work washing stones, 6 hours a day, in a river that is highly polluted by it.

As similar cases have proved, Jimrin’s condition is likely to end in an early death if not stopped or treated.

The reason of this crowdfunding

As a researcher, I have encountered harsh situations that have left an imprint in my being. In this asymmetrical position that I carry, I refuse to leave without making an effort to re-attribute the kindness of Conchita and her family, unfortunately, I do not count with sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the following:

-          Take Jimrin and Jonathan to the capital city to get medical treatment and understand the exact situation of their condition. This means:

Transportation and accommodation for 5 people to Davao city (Conchita Mother of Jimrin, Junjun –the eldest brother of Jimrin, Esther the mother of Jonathan and of course, Jimrin and Jonathan, a collaborator in case I am no longer present in the Phillipines).

Amount: Aprox.  250 Euros

-          Doctors and specialist payment: Aprox. 150 euros

-          Medicines and analysis for treatment: Aprox. 250 euros

-          A bed for Jimrin, to give his back and bones some proper rest. 170 euros

I kindly request you to support me in supporting them. The aid that we are providing, is not ending here. For the moment being, we are in conversations with different NGO’s to bring workshops for women in the community about the harm of mercury exposure, hoping this can have an impact in some of them. The conversations held with the families have raised concern and the results of the diagnosis will serve to evidence the magnitude of the problem. 

The problem, however, is much deeper and its roots should be treated by replacing mercury with other techniques, a job that the government in the Philippines should be looking after. However, exposing cases like these can help get more hands on the matter. 

For now, I ask you to help Jimrin and Jonathan so that they can get treated and stop enduring pain that they have no responsibility on.

We will be transparent with the money we gather, by publishing all bills and statements that can evidence that your donation is reaching the right way.

Thank you for your time and attention.


Eugenia Robles

Supporting information on a similar case in Indonesia:

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Eugenia RM 
Antwerpen, VLG, Belgium
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